The Brooklyn Nets were eliminated from the NBA playoffs on Monday night. Not only did the one-time favorites to win a title get beat, though – they became the only squad to get swept thus far this season.
It was a brutal showing by the Nets with a lot of blame to go around. One person who has gotten a decent amount of it, despite not playing in the series? Ben Simmons.
Simmons was expected to return and contribute in the playoffs after his midseason trade, but ultimately failed to do so because of a “back injury.” Prior to Monday’s game, reports emerged that some within Brooklyn’s organization were questioning the legitimacy of the ailment.
Following his team’s elimination from the playoffs, Kyrie Irving stepped up to the podium and spoke about a myriad of things. One of them was Simmons’ absence.
“We lost a franchise player and we got a franchise player back but we didn’t get chance to see [Ben Simmons] on the floor,” Irving said.
“There was no pressure for him to step on the floor with us either. Ben’s good, we have Ben, we have his back he’s gonna be good for next year. But now we just turn the page and look forward to what we’re building.”
Given the frustration with which head coach Steve Nash has spoken in regards to Simmons’ injury, it’s interesting that Irving has taken a slightly different route.
Perhaps he feels like he is no position to judge Simmons, what with his own decision to sit out for the majority of the regular season over his refusal to get vaccinated.
It will be interesting to see where the Nets go from here.
This team is the second-biggest disappointment of the 2021-22 NBA season, right behind the Los Angeles Lakers.
Paige kept it real.https://t.co/KnIh7eFwgD
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 26, 2022
Will they be able to right the ship in 2022-23?
Time will tell.